Here in Toronto we get lots of snow in the winter. The City of Toronto has heavy equipment such as snow plows that remove the snow from the road and sidewalk. They do an excellent job. Citizens of Toronto also remove snow from their private driveways and the sidewalk. Unfortunately some citizens think it is Ok to simply dump their snow into the street, which creates a hazard to their neighbours and others that use the street. Not only is it very unfriendly to neighbours, it is also illegal.
Snow needs to be removed from your driveway, usually as quickly as possible. While you will be able to drive your car over it if the snow is below 10cm, an unexpected weather change can turn the fluffy stuff into rock hard ice. The snow thaws when the temperature rises. When the temperature then falls the watery snow turns to ice. This ice is difficult to melt and remove and can remain on your driveway for months. Ice is a tripping hazard. The best thing to do is to move your snow to the side of your driveway as quickly as possible. You can shovel snow manually, use a machine such as a snow blower or pay someone to do this for you. Shoveling snow is heavy work and hard on your back, so take care and properly use your legs to lift the snow. Many older people have died from a heart attack while shoveling snow.
What you should not do is shovel your snow onto the street. This is illegal.
Highway Traffic Act
R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER H.8, Section X
Deposit of snow on roadway
181. No person shall deposit snow or ice on a roadway without permission in writing so to do from the Ministry or the road authority responsible for the maintenance of the road. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 181.
Supplementing this is this Toronto bylaw:
Toronto Municipal code Chapter 719
§ 719-5. Moving snow onto streets.
No property owner, occupant or other person shall move or permit to be moved snow or
ice from private property onto a highway, sidewalk or lane way.
Home and property owners also need to remove snow from their sidewalk within 12 hours. Sidewalks are walkways beside the road on both sides of the street. Slippery sidewalks are dangerous for kids and the elderly. Here in Toronto the city has sidewalk plows but they are quite busy and may not be able to plow your sidewalk within 12 hours. Sometimes it can take them 2 days to arrive. The snow can freeze and turn to ice, causing a tripping hazard.
TORONTO MUNICIPAL CODE, Chapter 719
SNOW AND ICE REMOVAL
§ 719-3. Removal from sidewalks by city; recovery of costs.
A. Where snow and ice resulting from any fall of snow, rain or hail has not been re-
moved from a sidewalk situated on a highway in front of, alongside or at the rear of
any occupied or unoccupied building or vacant lot, within 12 hours after the fall of
snow, rain or hail has ceased, the Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services
or a person appointed by the Commissioner may, at the expense of the owner of the
building or vacant lot, clear away and remove the snow and ice, including the re-
mediation of any slippery sidewalk.
I have always thought it was my civic duty to remove snow from my sidewalk, but understand why the bylaw exists. If citizens would be more helpful to each other, each doing their part, the city would function much better.
01/29/2015: It snowed. Now who has to do the shovelling?